Welcome to a vast topic which none of us will ever finish exploring! Scripture Engagement is about all of life. It is listening and responding to God’s Word alone and together with others. It is digesting and living out the Word in every relationship and circumstance. It is unashamedly and competently sharing God’s good news in our world. Above all, Scripture Engagement is encountering the living Christ through his living Word.

From its foundation in 1947, IFES has been committed to taking God’s Word seriously. To this day, IFES movements continue to be characterised by interaction with Scripture: whether on a personal basis, together in small group discussions, or in larger meetings. Although God’s Word is truth unchanging, student culture is constantly changing around the world. How can we help each new generation of students to love, study, live and share God’s Word?

An IFES global consultation on Scripture Engagement was held in 2011. One of its conclusions was the need for a team working globally with this focus to help facilitate the exchange of ideas, experiences, and resources as well as strengthen the vision of Scripture Engagement.

This led to the new appointment of a Secretary for Scripture Engagement in the same year, and the formation of a global team in 2013. In addition, many multipliers have emerged with a passion to strengthen this core commitment of IFES across all our regions.


Ricardo Borges, Secretary for Scripture Engagement

Ricardo is the Secretary for Scripture Engagement and provides leadership to the global team. He seeks to inspire and promote good practice in Scripture Engagement across the international fellowship. His focus is on providing support for the regions and the national movements, collaborating with their local efforts and projects. He aims to help staff and students to discover the value of God’s Word in their lives, transforming them personally and the reality around them. Ricardo seeks to strengthen witness to non-Christians through the Scriptures, while always connecting that witness to our local and contextual realities. He loves preaching God’s Word, leading sessions where people grow together, mentoring multipliers, and discovering how the Scriptures address the challenges of our world today.

Ricardo is from Brazil but lived in Uruguay for seven years where he helped to re-pioneer the student movement. He is an Agronomic Engineer, with further studies in Bible and Cultural Studies, and a Master of Arts in Leadership from All Nations Christian College, in England. He served for 14 years with the Brazilian student movement (ABUB) and served on the regional team of IFES Latin America. Ricardo currently lives in São Paulo, Brazil, together with his wife Ruth, and their daughters Ana Júlia and Carolina. Contact: ricardo.borges@ifesworld.org

Paula, Associate Secretary for Scripture Engagement
(without her full name and no pic, as she works in a sensitive context)

Paula is the Associate Secretary for Scripture Engagement and, together with Ricardo, provides leadership to the Scripture Engagement global team. On the global team she has actively collaborated on projects like the Foundations of SE eLearning course and on the “Scripture Engagement & Context” working group. She brings to the team a balanced, deeply biblical approach, healthy new insights, and perspective.

Paula is originally from the UK and has worked as a relay worker with UCCF. Subsequently, she has worked as a chemistry teacher, and has been serving in Eurasia in various locations and functions since 2007. With a desire to continue learning, both from the Scriptures and living cross-culturally, Paula studied for and received a Master’s in Contextual Theology. Her research provided an opportunity to investigate the issue of forgiveness in a Central Asian context.

From then till now, her desire has been to see people, wherever they are, able to access, read and know God from the Scriptures for themselves.

This is reflected in her work supporting national movements in Eurasia as Scripture Engagement coordinator and in her involvement in the global team since 2017. Convinced of the authority and importance of the Word, she enjoys facilitating this discovery of our glorious God through training and mentoring. Paula is deeply committed to seeing staff and students know and interact with God throughout the whole of Scripture. Therefore, her work with them has focused particularly on the Old Testament (and she probably quotes Deuteronomy far too often!).

Paula serves part-time with the IFES regional team in Eurasia. She loves living in her adopted country in that region (sensitive location), sharing in hospitality, cooking, and swimming.

Global Scripture Engagement Team

From left to right:
Yohan, Paula, Mukululi
Ricardo, Ana Miriam, Dieudonné

Ricardo Borges, IFES Secretary for Scripture Engagement
Paula, IFES Associate Secretary for Scripture Engagement
Mukululi Ncube, Re-pioneering staff of ESWAFES Eswatini
Ana Miriam Peralta, staff of COMPA Mexico
Dieudonné Tindano, General Secretary of UGBB Burkina Faso
Yohan Abeynaike, Scripture Engagement Lead of IFES South Asia regional team

This team meets once a year to read the Word, share, dream, plan and pray around Scripture Engagement in IFES. Its aim is to help each team member to strengthen this area of their ministry and together to envision next steps for the global fellowship. A network of multipliers, some mentoring relationships, and various resources have grown out of this team.

Aims and activities

The aim of the Scripture Engagement ministry is to work with the national movements and regions of IFES to help ensure that each new generation of students loves, studies, lives, and shares God’s Word. This is crucial for living out all other aspects of the IFES vision. This mission is not primarily achieved by multiplying certain programs, but by reaching out to people and raising up multipliers of Scripture Engagement throughout IFES.

Scripture Engagement consultations with IFES regions and national movements across the world have proved important spaces to consider our relationship to and use of Scripture in our ministry. It is the people on the ground in their own contexts who shape the way this happens. The network of Scripture Engagement multipliers is a place for exchanging good practice and mutual encouragement between those serving in different contexts across the world.

In 2015, the global team wrote and published “The Word Among Us” in time for the IFES World Assembly in Mexico. The purpose of this document is twofold: to communicate, on the one hand, a broad and relational vision of Scripture engagement, and, on the other, to inspire change and renewal through reflective questions.

A trilingual (English, French and Spanish) quarterly newsletter is sent out by Ricardo and Paula, sharing stories, ideas, and reflections on Scripture engagement from around the IFES world. It is currently read by around 1300 people in more than 60 countries. You can subscribe to the newsletter by writing to this email address: ScriptureEngagement@ifesworld.org.

Numerous trainings, workshops, consultations, and camps focusing on Scripture Engagement will continue to take place. Ricardo, Paula, and the Scripture Engagement global team will continue, with intention, to invest in those individuals who demonstrate the potential to become key multipliers in this very important area of our ministry.


For me, Scripture engagement has shifted from being a mere activity to a lifestyle. I have resolved to live out the Word of God and to share it with my friends and siblings. My conviction about Scripture has deepened and I desire the fruitful change which God’s Word brings.
David Ndubuaku, student President, NIFES Nigeria which hosted a Scripture Engagement consultation for more than 100 student leaders, staff and associates in 2015.

Running this training has been a blessing for EFES. We have gained new relationships and friends for our ministry. This has opened doors and pastors are giving more support to student groups in their churches. Since our students cannot meet on campus, this is crucial for our ministry.
Shaher, EFES Egypt, which ran a Bible study training event for churches, to which 70 participants from 17 churches came.

I’m a scientific person. I want to be sure of something before I believe in it. If somebody had shown me a miracle, I don’t think that I would have believed. But I love to read; I love words. Jesus came into my life through his Word. I discovered that all the evidence necessary to believe in Jesus is there in the Bible, the Word of God.
Sara Medina, student of chemistry and physics in Mexico, who became a Christian through a friend’s invitation to a Compa Mexico Bible study.